Howard University School of Law

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Howard University School of Law
Howard University
Motto Veritas et Utilitas
Parent school Howard University
Established 1869[1]
School type Private
Dean Okianer Christian Dark[2]
Location Washington, D.C., USA
Enrollment 407[3]
Faculty 56[3]
USNWR ranking 135[4]
Bar pass rate 47.7%[3]
Website www.law.howard.edu

Howard University School of Law (also known as Howard Law or HUSL) is one of the professional graduate schools of Howard University. Located in Washington, D.C., it is one of the oldest law schools in the country and the oldest historically black college or university law school in the United States.[5]

Today, Howard University School of Law confers about 185 Juris Doctorate and Master of Law degrees annually to students from the United States and countries in South America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia.[1] Howard University School of Law was accredited by the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools in 1931.[1]

According to Howard Law's 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 50% of 2013 graduates obtained full-time, long-term, bar passage-required employment nine months after graduation.[6]

History[edit]

Howard University opened its legal department, led by John Mercer Langston, on January 6, 1869.[1] The founders of Howard Law recognized “a great need to train lawyers who would have a strong commitment to helping black Americans secure and protect their newly established rights” during the country’s tumultuous Reconstruction era.[1]

The first class consisted of six students who met three evenings a week in the homes and offices of the department's four teachers.[1] Classes were held in various locations throughout the years before the law school settled into its current location at 2900 Van Ness Street N.W. in 1974.[1] At the time, the LL.B program required only two years of study. Ten students were awarded degrees at the first commencement ceremony, which was held on February 3, 1871.[1]

The school was accredited by the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools in 1931.[1]

Women at Howard Law[edit]

Howard Law was the first school in the nation to have a nondiscriminatory admissions policy, admitting white male and female students along with black students from its opening.[7] It was a progressive policy at the time to admit women, but only eight women graduated from Howard Law during the first 30 years of its existence.[8]

The nation’s first black female lawyer, Charlotte E. Ray, was admitted to Howard's law program in 1869 and graduated in 1872.[9] Despite Howard University’s policy of nondiscrimination, it is reported that Charlotte applied to the law program using her initials to disguise her gender because she was “[a]ware of the school’s reluctant commitment to the principle of sexual equality.”[8]

Another woman, Mary Ann Shadd Cary, claimed to have been admitted to Howard’s law program in September 1869, prior to Ray.[10] However, Carey claims she was barred from graduating on time because of her gender and ultimately graduated in 1883.[10]

Eliza A. Chambers, an early white female graduate of Howard’s law program, was admitted in 1885 and successfully completed the three year course of study.[10] However, “the Law School faculty refused to hand in [Eliza’s] name to the examiners, for admission to practice, omitting her from the list of her male classmates whom they recommended, simply because she was a woman.”[10]

Ties to the civil rights movement[edit]

Howard University School of Law has significant ties to the US Civil Rights Movement. Former HUSL Dean Charles Hamilton Houston's work for the NAACP earned him the title of "The Man Who Killed Jim Crow."[11] Thurgood Marshall, a 1933 graduate of Howard Law, successfully argued the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case before the U.S. Supreme Court and in 1967 became the first African-American Supreme Court Justice.[12]

Academics[edit]

Curriculum[edit]

Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.

First year students at Howard Law are required to take courses on civil procedure; constitutional law; contracts; criminal law; legal method/civil rights; legal reasoning, research and writing; real property; and torts.[13] Students must also take courses on evidence and professional responsibility and fulfill the school's scholarly writing requirement.[13]

The school offers more than 90 courses beyond the first year curriculum.[3]

Degrees offered[edit]

Howard University School of Law offers the Juris Doctor (J.D.)[14] and the Master of Laws (L.L.M).[15] Additionally, students can enroll in the four-year J.D./M.B.A. dual degree program with the Howard University School of Business.[16]

HUSL students can also earn a certificate in family law.[17]

Faculty[edit]

As of Fall 2013, Howard Law employed 56 faculty and administrators.[3] The school's student-faculty ratio was 16.52 to 1.[3]

Programs and clinics[edit]

Howard Law boasts three institutes and centers: the Education Rights Center, the Institute of Intellectual Property and Social Justice, and the World Food Law Institute.[18]

The school's Clinical Law Center also offers seven in-house legal clinics that provide students with first-hand legal experience as well as an Externship and Equal Justice Program.[19] These clinics are:

Publications[edit]

Howard Law has published the student-managed Howard Law Journal since 1955.[20] Since 2007 the school has also published the Human Rights and Globalization Law Review, the successor to the Howard Scroll: Social Justice Law Review.[21]

The Barrister is the HUSL student-edited newspaper.[22]

The school publishes a news journal, The Jurist,[23] and the Howard Docket newsletter.[24] For the school's 140th anniversary, the school published A Legacy of Defending the Constitution: A Pictorial History Book of Howard University School of Law (1869-2009).[25]

Student Life[edit]

Howard Law enrolled 407 J.D. students for the 2012-2013 academic year, 100% of whom were enrolled full-time.[3] 84.5% of the J.D. students were African-American and 63.4% were female.[3]

HUSL students may participate in 26 extra-curricular groups, including the moot court team, associations focused on specific areas of law, law fraternities, and political, ethnic, and religious affiliation groups.[26]

Campus[edit]

The campus is located in the upper Northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C., in the Forest Hills area of the city. The law school is located on its own 22-acre (89,000 m2) campus approximately five miles from the main campus.[27]

The campus was built by Dunbarton College of the Holy Cross, which occupied it until the school closed in 1973.[28] The school's main building, Houston Hall, is named after Charles Hamilton Houston.[27]

Admissions[edit]

Howard Law had a 41.2% acceptance rate in 2013 with the school receiving 1,085 applications.[3] The school's matriculation rate was 33.8% with 151 of the 447 admits enrolling.[3] The median LSAT score for students enrolling in HUSL in 2013 was 151 (47.8th percentile)[29] and the median GPA was 3.13.[3]

Employment[edit]

According to Howard Law's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 50% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, bar passage-required employment nine months after graduation.[6] HUSL's full-time long-term bar passage-required employment rate for 2013 graduates was below the national average of 57% for ABA-approved law schools.[30]

301 firms recruit at Howard Law, a number that is comparable to "Top 14" law schools like Yale Law School (where 326 firms recruit) and Cornell Law School (where 211 firms recruit)[31] and includes elite firms like Cravath, Swaine & Moore, which only conducts interviews at 21 law schools.[32] But while more than 60% students who graduated from Yale Law School and Cornell Law School in 2013 were hired for federal clerkships or at law firms with more than 250 employees,[33][34] only 13% of 2013 Howard Law graduates secured such positions.[6]

Howard Law's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 18.1%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[35] 84% of the Class of 2013 was employed in some capacity while 0.7% were pursuing graduate degrees and 10.9% were unemployed nine months graduation.[6]

Costs[edit]

The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Howard Law for the 2014-2015 academic year is $60,240 with tuition set at $31,148.[36] The $60,240 total cost of attendance at Howard Law is lower than some schools in the D.C. area — for example George Washington University Law School's total cost of attendance is $78,040 for the 2014-2015 academic year[37] — but higher than others, such as the University of the District of Columbia's David A. Clarke School of Law where the total cost of attendance for D.C. residents for the 2013-2014 school year was $41,630.[38]

The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $229,755.[39]

Rankings[edit]

U.S. News & World Report ranked Howard Law 135th in its 2014 law school rankings.[4]

Howard Law ranked 140th among ABA-approved law schools in terms of the percentage of 2013 graduates with non-school-funded, full-time, long-term, bar passage required jobs nine months after graduation.[40]

Howard Law was ranked 45th on the National Law Journal's 2014 Go-To Law Schools ranking, a ranking of which law schools sent the highest percentage of new graduates to NLJ 250 law firms.[41] Howard Law was the school that most outperformed its U.S. News & World Report rankings in the NLJ Go-To Law Schools ranking.[42]

Howard Law was ranked in the top 20 by the NLJ for law schools with the highest placement rate in government and public interest jobs for 2012 graduates[43] and was ranked 11th by U.S. News & World Report in terms of the percentage of 2012 graduates working in state and local clerkships.[44]

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "History". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Okianer Christian Dark Biography". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Howard University School of Law 2013 Standard 509 Information Report". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Howard University". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Text of Recognizing and honoring Howard University School of Law’s 140-year legacy of social justice and its continued commitment to the training ...". GovTrak.us. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Employment Summary for 2013 Graduates". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Smith, Jr., J. Clay (1999). The Making of the Black Lawyer 1844–1944. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 
  8. ^ a b Drachman, Virginia (1998). Sisters in Law: Women Lawyers in Modern American History. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. 
  9. ^ "Ray, Charlotte E. (1850-1911)". BlackPast.org. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  10. ^ a b c d Robinson, Leila (1890). "Women Lawyers in the United States". The Green Bag II. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "Charles Hamilton Houston: The Man Who Killed Jim Crow". IIP Digital. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  12. ^ "Thurgood Marshall, Supreme Court Justice". Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  13. ^ a b "Law School Required Curriculum". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  14. ^ "JD Application and Information". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  15. ^ "Master of Law (LLM) Application and Brochure". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  16. ^ "J.D./MBA Program". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  17. ^ "Family Law Certificate Program". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  18. ^ "Institutes and Centers". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  19. ^ "Clinical Education at Howard". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  20. ^ "Howard Law Journal". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  21. ^ "Human Rights & Globalization Law Review". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  22. ^ "The Barrister". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  23. ^ "The Jurist". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  24. ^ "The Howard Docket". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  25. ^ "A Legacy of Defending the Constitution". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  26. ^ "Extra-Curricular Activitites". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  27. ^ a b "Our Campus". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  28. ^ "HUSL 140th Anniversary". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  29. ^ "LSAT Percentiles Table". Cambridge LSAT. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  30. ^ Caron, Paul. "ABA Releases 'Bleak' Jobs Data for 2013 Law School Grads". TaxProf Blog. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  31. ^ "NALP Directory of Legal Employers". The National Association for Law Placement. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  32. ^ "Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP - Multi-Office Recruitment & Hiring". The National Association for Law Placement. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  33. ^ "Class of 2013 Employment". Yale Law School. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  34. ^ "Statistics". Cornell University Law School. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  35. ^ "Howard University Profile". Law School Transparency. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  36. ^ "First Year Law Students, Cost Of Attendance Budget, 2014-2015 Academic Year". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  37. ^ "Information for New J.D. Students". GW Law. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  38. ^ "Cost of Attendance and Student Need". University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  39. ^ "Howard University Profile, Cost". Law School Transparency. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  40. ^ Leichter, Matt. "Class of 2013 Employment Report". The Law School Tuition Bubble. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  41. ^ "Ranking the Go-To Law Schools". The National Law Journal. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  42. ^ "Go-To v. 'U.S. News'". The National Law Journal. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  43. ^ "The Best Law Schools for Government and Public Interest Career Placement". Above The Law. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  44. ^ Morse, Bob. "Grads of These Law Schools Get the Most Judicial Clerkships". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°56′37″N 77°03′30″W / 38.9437°N 77.0584°W / 38.9437; -77.0584